Acts 18:9-10 NASB And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; (10) for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”
We all need encouraged from time to time and the Apostle Paul was no exception. Entering Corinth, Paul immediately experienced some pretty stout rejection to the Gospel of Christ. Heading to the gentiles he gained some traction, then the ruler of the synagogue believed and was baptized. Still, the rejection Paul faced initially had caused him to experience some fear.
Then one evening the Lord appeared to Paul in a vision and told him to Fear Not. He actually told Paul 4 key things that we can glean from to help us live free from fear. He told Paul:
- Don’t be afraid. Fear Not! (This is a command from the Lord.)
- Do not be silent, but confront your fear. (For Paul that meant preach the Word)
- I am with you.
- You are not alone. “I have many people in this city.”
Jesus told Paul to stop fearing. This is a pretty common message from Him (Mt 10:26,28,31; Mt 14:27; Mt 17:7; Mt 28:10; Mk 5:36; etc…). Thankfully He also gives us some instruction on how to stop.
He told Paul to preach the Word and not to be silent. Paul’s fear stemmed from the many painful rejections and the opposition he had face as a minister of God’s grace. It was triggered by the hostile interaction he had shortly after arriving in Corinth. Jesus encouraged Paul not to quit but to face his fear. When fear grips us we must face it, we cannot remain silent and let it run rough shod over us. Stand up. Declare your freedom. Then take a deep breath and confront your fear.
Next Jesus reminded Paul, the very one given the revelation of the mystery of Christ in us, that He was with him. If you’ve been born again, then you are never alone. Jesus is always with you by His Spirit. But He didn’t stop there. He went on to say that there were other people who loved God and would be a support and strength to Paul. You have these people too. They are found in your local church.
Jesus is always with you and is ready to walk with you as you confront your fears. There are also many people in your city church that will support you, encourage you, and stand with you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be silent. Jesus is with you. You don’t have to be alone. There is a whole church waiting for you. Fear Not!